Erik Best arrived in Prague in Feb. 1991 and has been publishing the Fleet Sheet since Feb. of 1992. He thought at the time that the business would last 5-6 years and that the foreigners - his main target audience - would leave the country, but the Fleet Sheet is still going strong more than 20 years later. This is partly because many of the foreigners stayed, and partly because Czechs quickly became the Fleet Sheet’s main customer base.
By the time Erik arrived in Prague in 1991, he had already devoted more than half a decade to studying Central and Eastern Europe, although he had no family ties to the region. By background, he’s a 100% American, with family in North Carolina, where he was born in 1962, and Montana, where his family moved when he was a child. His first journalism job was as a sports reporter for The Missoulian (in Montana) at the age of 16.
Erik Best graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1985, with a degree in Eastern European studies and a concentration on Russian language. He completed a master’s degree in Russian language at Middlebury College in 1985 and studied in Moscow in 1983 and 1984. In addition to Czech and Russian, he also speaks French. (To be a true Russian scholar, he says, you must also speak French, because that is the language the Russian aristocracy spoke.)
He completed an MBA at the University of North Carolina in 1987 and worked briefly in investment banking and management consulting in Raleigh, North Carolina, before deciding to move to Prague.
His studies and experience in journalism, diplomacy, politics, business and foreign languages provided just the mix he needed to found the Fleet Sheet and also allowed the Final Word, which he began publishing in 2001, to immediately become an influential publication. Thanks to the recognition brought by the Final Word, Erik is also a frequent commentator on Czech radio and television stations.
Erik’s latest publication, which he began producing in 2011, is the Friday Edition. It’s a weekly analysis reserved only for subscribers to the daily Fleet Sheet bulletin, and it gives Erik and his small staff the chance to tie together all the events of the week.
Erik works on his foreign languages by reading detective novels translated from English, but his real literary loves are Vladimir Nabokov, Graham Greene and John Le Carré.
Erik and his Czech wife, Dita, have four children.
|12.1.||Erik Best v Radiofóru o Donaldu Trumpovi (Český rozhlas)|